Josh Mador has lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as VP of Business Development for Faraday Security for ten years. But last year, when Josh was playing tennis with his father, he noticed he had trouble seeing the ball as he had in high school.
“I was back in the US for a wedding and to get my vaccine. It had been months that my vision was off. Almost a year at that point,” he said.
After discussions with his family, he decided to get his vision checked.
“That started a cascade of doctor’s appointments,” Josh said. “The initial reaction was that they were worried, and they didn’t know what the problem was.”
Diagnosis and Support
Josh was immediately sent for an MRI and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Over time, Josh’s sight became blurry, and he had difficulty seeing anything long distance. From there, he went to a retina specialist at the Ross Eye Center and was referred to VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement’s Low Vision Clinic.
“I had a little time to internalize things and be cognizant of what was happening to me. Dr. Simmons was the first eye doctor that I went to who was used to people with severe vision issues. He was incredibly supportive.”
Adapting to Change
At VIA, Josh learned about resources and tactics to adapt to living with a visual impairment. He began a series of sessions with VIA’s Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs). He learned skills to help him with domestic tasks, phone accessibility, and beyond.
“My biggest issue was with crossing the street, and I learned a lot of methods to make that safer.”
Josh notes that he went through all of this during the Covid-19 pandemic and was uncertain of the help he could get at the time. “It was kind of a weird time. But if you’re having health issues, go to the doctor.”
Things do get better
With VIA’s help, Josh found continued success and his pathway to independence. “Whatever you’re going through, they’ve seen it and a lot worse. These people are specialists and professionals whose job it is to improve your quality of life.” Josh continues with VIA’s specialists and has learned new ways to adapt to his lifestyle with a visual impairment. “Don’t get down on yourself,” he says. “Things can get better.”
About VIA – There is no denying a diagnosis with vision changes or visual loss can present challenges. However, it does not change who you are, what you believe or, what you want to accomplish.
For over 100 years, VIA: Visually Impaired Advancement has provided rehabilitation and social services to individuals in Western New York who are visually impaired. We pride ourselves on being a comprehensive resource for people experiencing vision loss or who are legally blind to help them adapt to new ways of independence. Our team of vision professionals will customize services to help you manage vision loss at any age.
To learn more, visit viawny.org.